Don’t forget, France is now enforcing a 40-tonne weight limit 
Commercial vehicle shippers and hauliers hit by new cross-border traffic curbs 

You may already be aware, but even so we believe it is well worthwhile reminding shippers and hauliers who undertake freighting assignments across France that the French authorities are now enforcing a European rule that limits cross-border traffic within the EU to 40-tonnes. 

The new rules actually came into effect on 1st January 2022 and Aerona understands that the new legislation for cross-border traffic is now being stringently enforced by the French authorities. Even though vehicles of up to 44-tonnes are still legally allowed both on French territory and as part of the road leg of combined operations, the new limit is deemed to clarify the French road load rules and is designed to bring the country into line with EU Directive 96/53 EC weights and dimensions as published on 31st July 2021. 

It is therefore absolutely crucial that shippers and hauliers remain fully aware of the new rules that state: the total authorised rolling weight of an articulated vehicle with more that four axles is limited to 40-tonnes. This is with the exception of vehicles traversing the road leg of combined transport operations. 

As most cross-border traffic operators are only too aware, this ruling was NOT previously enforceable in France because French legislation did not foresee sanctions. However, with the introduction of new French traffic laws the earlier situation has now come to an end. 

That means there is now plenty for shippers and hauliers to be concerned about, especially because the penalty for non-compliance is €750 per overweight tonne! 

The other point to remain aware of is that the new ruling imposes a shared liability threat.This means that in the case of overloading the EU member states are able to impose penalties on both the shipper and the haulier. 

At Aerona we understand that British shippers and transport authorities have been calling for more flexibility of these stringent rulings. However, the rules were made very clear and confirm the case that cross-border traffic is now limited to 40-tonnes. Even though in France and Belgium they continue to accept 44-tonnes vehicles at a national level. 

It is also worth noting that Belgium traffic law is still to accept this European directive so the reverse situation is currently not punishable. 

Confused?  Worried?  Concerned?  Then maybe a quick phone call to Aerona on 0161 652 3443 will be enough to clarify the situation.  You could also email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or you can send us a message using the form that can be found on our Contact page and we will do our very best to advise you on the situation.